Fiduciary Rule

Why states have opted to “Go Your Own Way” on fiduciary standards re. broker-dealers and investment advisers

Over the past 2 years, the states have taken disparate approaches to filling what they perceive as a regulatory void when the DOL Fiduciary Rule was struck down by a federal court. At the outset, most states, with the exception of Nevada, took a disclosure-based approach (most notably, NY and NJ), and legislation was the preferred avenue. Now, the trend is toward heightening the standard of care (disclosure appears to be viewed skeptically) through regulation (executive/governor’s branch). Though it varies by state, there at times can be incongruity of approach taken within a state. For example, the New Jersey legislation favored disclosure, whereas Governor Murphy preferred a new standard of care. Though the New Jersey legislation is unlikely to be reintroduced next year, it highlights a risk for market participants when there is inconsistency intrastate and interstate. We are expecting to see draft bills over the coming months for the next session in a small handful of states, but will also keep a (very) close eye on if and when either or both of New Jersey and Massachusetts decide to move forward with their fiduciary duty regulations applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers. Nevada is also likely to be moving forward with finalization on its proposed fiduciary implementing regulation.

Go Your Own Way: States pursue their own fiduciary standards for broker-dealers

Next steps for fiduciary rule as POTUS taps Scalia

WSJ reports that Scalia would recuse himself from fiduciary advice rulemaking should he be confirmed as Secretary of Labor

More analysis on predictions on the effect of Eugene Scalia as DOL Secretary on fiduciary rulemaking

What would a Secretary Scalia mean for fiduciary rulemaking?

Earlier today, I spoke with Fund Intelligence regarding the President’s initial decision to nominate Eugene Scalia as the next Secretary of Labor. His background suggests “an even more deliberative approach” to fiduciary rulemaking, namely, the promulgation of guidance and rules that will safely survive a court challenge. The most likely approach of a DOL under Scalia is the proposal of exemptive relief and other rules that lower compliance costs, meaning that it is unlikely that the DOL would expand the ways in which one becomes an investment advice fiduciary under ERISA.

GAO asked to evaluate how DOL Fiduciary Rule affected financial services

Politico Pro is reporting that House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to evaluate  how the now-defunct 2016 Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule affected financial services.

A timeline of the long road of fiduciary/best interest rulemakings

How the states are trying to revive the DOL fiduciary rule

Wealth Management Magazine just ran a story on how the states are attempting to revive the DOL Fiduciary Rule in their own image. As part of my interview, I say: “To me, there’s no question that the Department of Labor fiduciary rule is a bit of the ideal paradigm in terms of governance (for these states).” This is true, but the DOL rule appears to also be a litmus test for some of the states in evaluating Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) and their own rules. As some states try to channel the DOL Fiduciary Rule, Jay Clayton and Alex Acosta are, by all, accounts, coordinating on a June unveiling of the SEC Standards of Conduct package with a  proposed DOL exemption and some guidance (i.e., not a new rule on when one becomes an investment advice fiduciary under section 3(21) of ERISA) to follow.